Quest for the Red Dress: Danger in Bohemia (Part Two)
Still in shock I was led in bright blue footies over to the manicure portion of the room. To my delight, another woman was dragged over with me. This was good. Watching her like a hawk (difficult to do out of the corner of your eye) I took note as she paid her bill before the manicure (I always wondered how that worked) and then left the tip in the bottles to her left. This was useful to know. I did the same, noticing that when your tip is staring you in the face as you have your fingers soaked in a bowl of purple water, you’re more inclined to shoot higher rather than lower.
By the way, New Yorkers are obsessed with massage. I can’t quite explain it. Sometimes when you go in for a haircut you’ll end up with a neck massage as well. It’s nice but kind of weird in as impersonal a city as NYC. My feet and legs had already had the treatment and now my hands were getting one as well. After that I attempted to dip my hands in the bowl of water, but the nice lady made it very clear that we were not at that point yet.
During the whole cuticle-weirdness and buffing prior to the polish, I kept staring at my feet. They’re like little blinkers right now. Little brightly colored lights, screaming to the world that I’m the kind of woman who gets pedicures. And not just any pedicures… BRIGHT pedicures. It was hard to concentrate on anything else. I realized, of course, that by wearing sneakers I’ll be able to cover them up for a while. That’s fine. But then it hit me. My hands. Oh God, if I get my hands done in bright colors then there won’t be any way to hide it! Gloves in D.C. in June may sound quaint, but it ain’t. But I had to make a decision and pronto. Too late for the feetsies… would the fingers be the next to go?
Reader, I chickened out. I’m sorry. I don’t match. I’m not a nails type of woman. I just couldn’t imagine walking around a conference center sporting fingers that catch the eye. I like my hands subtle and out of the way. I don’t want anyone to notice them for any reason ever. So I told the nice lady to make the nails clear and she didn’t even blink, bless her. Was I a coward? Yes. But at least I can look at my hands now and know that they look rather nice.
After that there are drying machines in these places. They put them in front of the windows, one for your feet and one for your hands, and you sit there as hundreds of New Yorkers walk by and see how silly you look. This is a good idea. Everyone who does something silly should have to sit in front of a window at least once a day and let people stare at them. Then came a shoulder and neck massage (see what I mean?) and a lot of fretting on my part on how long this was going to take. How do you know when you’re done? Lady on my right wasn’t being much help, reading a Cosmo like it was the last one on earth. Turns out the machines turn off on their own. Huh. Go figure.
So I left, bought some nail polish remover, and came home. Now, as I stare at my feet, I’m torn. On the one hand, they look freakin’ ridiculous. On the other hand, they do match the dress (shown below):
So I think I’ll keep ’em. But it still feels very peculiar. When your feet are not your own you run the risk of people thinking that you have a problem with eye contact. After all, I’ll be continually gaping at them for the next week at least.
Pedicures. Weirdest. Things. Ever.
For a full view of dress and nails, stay tuned. I’ll bring back plenty o’ pictures from ALA, including a full shot of the entire ensemble.
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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